HSBC will close further 69 branches on the heels the 82 it closed last year. the 82 branches that it shut down in the last year and claims that the pandemic has increased the transition towards digital banking.It’s just the second in the series of banks that have announced it is cutting its customer base as a result of changing customer behavior. Consumer group Which? has said that the number of closures over the last couple of months were “alarming” and that millions of people weren’t yet prepared or ready to fully digitalize.
The year before HSBC has 593 branches however, the most recent batch of closings which are scheduled to occur between mid-July and early October will reduce that number to 441, with 96 of them being what can be identified as “full service” outlets offering the full selection of services. The 69 branches being closed are located throughout the UK across the country, all the way from Inverness within Inverness in the Scottish Highlands to Falmouth in Cornwall.The branches that are being cut include those located in prominent London locations like New Bond Street, Moorgate, Angel Islington and Gloucester Road in South Kensington – areas that could have witnessed less footfall in the epidemic, as millions of London’s workers were forced to work from home.
HSBC stated that the move to “reshape” its network was in response to the increasing demand for online and mobile banking.Less than half of customers are currently using the branch network, and the average number of customers using the network dropping by 50% in the past year according to a spokesperson.The closings indicate that the typical distance that customers be required to travel to an branch to speak with an actual person will be around four miles.
Jenny Ross, the money editor for Which?, said: “There has been a worrying amount of branch closings in recent times, and many people who depend on banks to get cash for daily necessities and face-to-face service will be worried about what these recent closings will have to say to them. Branch closures were announced during the outbreak and financial institutions have claimed that customers are abandoning traditional counter services in favour the convenience of internet-based banking. On November 20, 2021 TSB has announced that it will be closing another 70 branch. In October, Lloyds Banking Group said that it was closing another 48 branches and in September, Virgin Money announced it that it was closing 31 branches for good reasons..Ross stated that Which? demanded that the government keep its word on its pledge to pass laws to ensure that consumers would remain able have access to cash as long as required.
HSBC stated that all branches closing were served by post offices within 1.5 miles. It also said that 90% of them had more than 10 ATMs available for free within a mile. The company also announced that it will be renovating branches in crucial areas, and installing new integrated withdrawal and deposit cash machines as well as holding pop-up events in local community centers and libraries and distributing tablets at no cost to vulnerable customers.